A new community radio station “promising to deliver a 3rd way of broadcasting” is set to go live in September.
Hayes FM will broadcast on 91.8FM in areas like LB Hillingdon: Hayes and the surrounding areas, as well as neighbouring boroughs of Ealing and Hounslow covering Southall, Hanwell, Heston and Cranford. It will have a potential audience of 300,000.
Hayes FM will be based in the centre of Hayes offering a mix of music and talk, which the station claims “will not be found anywhere on the FM or AM dial”.
The station has finalised a daily two-hour primetime block of Asian programming, which totals to 14-hours a week. According to Hayes FM, no non-Asian radio station is offering anywhere this amount of Asian output.
With the way the current schedule works, the two-hour daily Asian shows will be split into the following forms:
Tuesday: Talk and Discussion
Wednesday: News and Current Affairs
Thursday: Talk and Discussion
Friday: Youth focused
Saturday: News and Current Affairs
The music content will consist of Hindi soundtracks (old and new), Punjabi, Indy Pop, and Pakistani Pop as the core. Talk content on the other hand will focus on topics like Asian Life, local stories in West London, and national human interest stories. Moreover breaking news stories from the Asian subcontinent will also be covered.
Hayes FM is the brainchild of Sutish K Sharma, who has been behind the project since June 2003. Since then it has grown into a local media skills organisation, to now delivering a range of core skills as well as local radio and on-line broadcasting and film and video production.
Talking to BizAsia.co.uk, Sutish commented on the compilation of the schedule on the new station, “As Hayes FM is a generic English station; I accept attracting Asians to a non-Asian station will take time, but my aim is to produce high content, talk focused radio that will hopefully raise the ‘bar’. In the next schedule, I am hoping to introduce language based programmes, but the focus is about integration throughout the station, rather than radio that in avertedly offers segregation. Hayes FM۪s remit of community cohesion, social inclusion and local economic regeneration offers a new opportunities as well as challenges for our area”
According to a press statement, Hayes FM is not a specialist station that serves just one community or a faith as is the case for many community radio stations across the UK. Sutish explains, “Hayes FM does not do faith or serve one community. The challenge is quite simple. If you take away what divides you, what you have left is what unites you, and that is you. Hayes FM gives you that platform and through it, we will make the change. So expect to hear local people of all backgrounds talking about the issues that matter to them. In between, expect to hear Classic Hits, Best New Music, intermixed with the best in Asian Music and World Music the new 3rd way in radio listening has now arrived!.”
Hayes FM goes live from midday on Saturday 1st September 2007 on 91.8FM. The radio station will be launched by Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, along with local MP۪s John McDonnell, John Randall, Nicholas Hurd, and Virendra Sharma, representatives from 300 voluntary and community groups, local schools, colleges, and universities and the leader of Hillingdon Council, Cllr Ray Puddifoot.
A community Asian radio station owned by Ray C and Pritam Chaggar in the Slough region has been running since March this year.